Maybe Elon really is playing three-dimensional chess

Maybe Elon really is playing three-dimensional chess

I have learned not to trust social media posts about Donald Trump. And I certainly don't trust the opinions of Scott Adams. But now with Twiter fucking around with trust symbols on a daily basis I can't really trust that it even is Scott Adams any more. This is brilliant. We should all trust social media a lot less and Elon is (probably unintentionally) helping us to make better information choices.

(Related: I didn't think I'd ever fall for fake news on Facebook; 1,000th Post!; Zombie Robs)

(You might also like: Red-Tailed Hawk; Coronavirus Visualization Update; Crow Gyre)

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snipcalc

snipcalc

This is a typo, but also maybe my dream application given the amount of both screen snipping and embarrassingly basic calculations that I do every day. Could be the core feature for Windows 12.

(Related: Going Chrome; 3D Printing a 72-58mm step down Camera Filter Adapter; Using the Azure Monitor REST API from Google Apps Script)

(You might also like: Even Shitier - Citibank Remortgage Scam; Moon on a Wire; Lake Merced)

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The BBC helpfully fails to explain the US political system

The BBC helpfully fails to explain the US political system

The BBC thinks we're in better shape going into the midterms than I thought:

"The Democrats currently control all three branches of government - but that could change after the US midterms"

Pretty sure the judiciary flipped a while back. Screen capture above as hopefully they will fix it.

(Related: Intelligence Squared Two-Party Debate; Episode Four; 2021 California Gubernatorial Recall)

(You might also like: Night sky from Marin Headlands; San Bruno Mountain 360 4K; Three reasons the dream of a robot companion isn't over)

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Change in Presidential Vote from 2000 to 2020 by US County

Change in Presidential Vote from 2000 to 2020 by US County

This animation shows how the presidential vote in each county changed from 2000 to 2020. Every step in the animation shows the lift from 2020 with counties that voted more Republican shaded red and Democrat blue.

The blue shift towards Obama and then the Red shift towards Trump make a lot of sense. I find it really interesting how little changes between Trump and Biden.

Note that the colors represent the change in share of the vote and not an absolute measure. A country that went from 70% Republican to 60% Republican would be shaded blue due to the shift towards the Democrat vote. The vote is interpolated linearly between elections and so when you're looking at 2016 to 2020 for instance the animation shifts each county towards the votes that they will cast in 2020. Like the electorate I ignore third parties.

Data is from Harvard Dataverse. The animation and any errors introduced in its fabrication are all me.

(Related: Liquid Democracy and united.vote; Republicans and Democrats: Too big to succeed; Thinking about the UK referendum on AV)

(You might also like: Full Outlook Web Access on Chromebook; Commute; Gray Whales at Waddell Beach)

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Book reviews for October 2022

Missing, Presumed (DS Manon, #1) by Susie Steiner

Missing, Presumed (DS Manon, #1) by Susie Steiner

4/5

 

(Related: Nonfiction; Street View; #Resist)

(You might also like: ISS; Full Outlook Web Access on Chromebook; Fastest image merge (alpha blend) in GDI+)

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Fortune Cookies for Android 1.30

Fortune Cookies for Android 1.30

I've just released Fortune Cookies for Android 1.30. The last update was in... 2013... it turns out the Android ecosystem has moved on a bit since then and it wasn't even in the Play Store any more as a result. This update has a nice modern theme but is otherwise just an Android version of the classic UNIX fortune command. The database of fortunes is ancient and just running this might get you canceled / fired / etc so use with due caution. If you have this installed it will update as soon as the release is approved.

(Related: Going Chrome; Catfood Software Support; The Secret Diary of a Xamarin Android Developer, Aged 48 1/3)

(You might also like: Total Lunar Eclipse; Recent Wildlife; Jupiter from Casini Ranch)

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Space Journey

Space Journey

Animation of a trip through a random collection of stars with a bit of a hyperspace effect in the middle. I didn't mean to write this code but it's what ended up happening anyway. It would make a good mid-90s screensaver. I'll post what I was actually trying to do next.

(Related: 1,000th Post!; The Secret Diary of a Xamarin Android Developer, Aged 48 1/3; Capture DropCam (Nest Cam) frames to Google Drive)

(You might also like: One Year of Tides Animated (with Sun and Moon); Northern Pacific Rattlesnake; Earthquake Supply Co.)

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California November 2022 Propositions

CA 2022

Only 7 statewide propositions this year! And most of them are easy. I feel like the teacher forgot to assign homework. I still need to fill out the ballot though so here is my traditional voter guide:

PROP 1: CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM. LEGISLATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.

Yes. This only really makes a statement, but it's worth making given the fundamental corruption of a Supreme Court which is now just an emblem of the failure of the American political system to represent the people who live here.

PROP 26: ALLOWS IN-PERSON ROULETTE, DICE GAMES, SPORTS WAGERING ON TRIBAL LANDS. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE.

No. I think Californians should be allowed to gamble more freely. I'd love to see something from the legislature though, not from gaming tribes or companies. I don't understand why we use sin based indulgences to fund tribes. Gambling should be legal across the board (which I'd favor) or not at all. So getting deeper into this immoral deal is a non starter for me.

PROP 27: ALLOWS ONLINE AND MOBILE SPORTS WAGERING OUTSIDE TRIBAL LANDS. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE.

No. I'd be more inclined to back 27, but it makes the process of qualifying so expensive and complex that only existing giant companies would benefit. So it stinks of regulatory capture. Also, positioning this as a mechanism to solve homelessness is repulsive. Homelessness is a problem that we need to make more progress on. It probably makes sense to allow more gambling in the state. But that gambling is probably going to lead to more homelessness and the funds that might be provided to address it are a small drop in a very large bucket.

PROP 28: PROVIDES ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR ARTS AND MUSIC EDUCATION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

No. We don't need more voter mandated spending levels that constrain our ability to manage the budget in the future.

PROP 29: REQUIRES ON-SITE LICENSED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL AT KIDNEY DIALYSIS CLINICS AND ESTABLISHES OTHER STATE REQUIREMENTS. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

No. Same answer and rationale as 2020. Stop asking.

PROP 30: PROVIDES FUNDING FOR PROGRAMS TO REDUCE AIR POLLUTION AND PREVENT WILDFIRES BY INCREASING TAX ON PERSONAL INCOME OVER $2 MILLION. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

No. This will probably pass, and if so it will be the second time in two years that Lyft has been able to just buy favorable legislation. Last time it was less regulation so that it didn't have to provide benefits to its 'independent contractors' and now somehow it's more regulation so we can lower their costs.

PROP 31: REFERENDUM ON 2020 LAW THAT WOULD PROHIBIT THE RETAIL SALE OF CERTAIN FLAVORED TOBACCO PRODUCTS.

No. You can't vape mango nicotine to give up smoking at the same time as another fun addictive plant is seen as the future? I continue to believe that all drugs should be legal, taxed and regulated.

(Related: California November 2016 Propositions; California 2012 Propositions; California 2014 Propositions)

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San Francisco November 2022 Ballot Measures

SF 2022

My guide to all fourteen ballot measures for San Francisco in November 2022. Hot on the heels of 8 in June. My overriding principle here is to prevent the need for future ballot measures although I can't help myself from indulging in the occasional good idea.

A: Retiree Supplemental Cost of Living Adjustment; Retirement Board Contract with Executive Director

Yes. This is cheap and makes retirement benefits for city workers more fair and predictable.

B: Public Works Department and Commission, Sanitation and Streets Department and Commission

No. We just voted to create a department of sanitation and streets in 2020.

C: Homelessness Oversight Commission

Yes. More oversight for spending on homeless services.

D: Affordable Housing – Initiative Petition

Yes. Makes it easier to build new housing in San Francisco. Seems to cut a lot of unnecessary red tape to get projects moving faster.

E: Affordable Housing – Board of Supervisors

No. This competes with D to try and avoid losing too much control.

F: Library Preservation Fund

No. I'm not anti-library, but I am opposed to ballot measures that carve out specific funding and then will need another ballot measure if anything needs to change.

G: Student Success Fund – Grants to the San Francisco Unified School District

No. Another set aside that can't be undone without a future ballot measure.

H: City Elections in Even-Numbered Years

Yes. Increased voter turnout should lead to more representative local officials. I thought I voted for this already in 2012? Unfortunately this measure also has an adjustment to keep the number of signatures required for a new ballot measure constant. I'd love to see it get harder.

I: Vehicles on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park and the Great Highway

No. Let's keep some car free space.

J: Recreational Use of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park

Yes. As above.

L: Sales Tax for Transportation Projects

Yes. Extends an existing sales tax for transportation.

M: Tax on Keeping Residential Units Vacant

No. Could discourage new housing from being built and as written does not apply equally to all housing.

N: Golden Gate Park Underground Parking Facility; Golden Gate Park Concourse Authority

Yes. I need to make decisions about a single parking garage? This would allow the city more control, and as I want to keep JFK car free it makes sense to optimize this parking resource for people who will have more difficulty getting to the museums as a result.

O: Additional Parcel Tax for City College

Yes. This is an important resource and we need to get it back on track.

(Related: San Francisco November 2020 Ballot Measures; San Francisco 2014 Ballot Measures; San Francisco 2012 Propositions)

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Links for October 2022